Feb 212010

I had a stubborn bathroom sink clog that I could not fix with liquid drain cleaner.  I removed the trap and cleaned it out, but the clog persisted, causing the sink to drain very slowly.

Having seen Anthony Sullivan’s advertisement for the Turbo Snake, we bought the product for about $10 at Wal-Mart.  The Turbo Snake is a stiff, plastic coated wire with a coarse, hook-style Velcro-like tip for snaring clogs.  The package contained two Turbo Snakes, one with a round tip for sinks and one with a broad, flat tip for bathtubs and showers.  A self adhesive hook also came with the kit which stuck firmly to the inside of our painted, wood cabinet under the sink.

The Turbo Snake is easy to use as the following graphic shows:

How to use the Turbo Snake

How to use the Turbo Snake: insert, twist, pull… repeat

The clog in my drain was not quite as easy to remove as the ad suggested, but the Turbo Snake was effective nevertheless.  It took about five minutes to clean out the hair and gunk in the drain segment beneath the stopper.  I had to insert the Turbo Snake, twist and pull as the instructions specify, but I had to do this numerous times while slowly working my way around the stopper a couple of times.  I also had to work the Turbo Snake at different depths and it was necessary to clean the Turbo Snake frequently.  It was a messy job and you should wear eye protection particularly if you had previously tried to dissolve the clog with drain cleaner.


The Turbo Snake is an effective tool for unclogging sink drains.  Be prepared to spend up to five minutes on the job, working the Turbo Snake around the stopper in the clogged drain at various depths.


  • Ease of use: Anyone can use the Turbo Snake.
  • Effectiveness: The Turbo Snake works.
  • Cost: The Turbo Snake is much cheaper than drain cleaners, especially since you can reuse it.


  • It’s messy.  You’ll probably have to clean the sink and the surrounding area afterwards.  You might even want to shower because you will be pulling up nasty gunk that can get all over you if you are not careful.
  • I had no problem pushing the Turbo Snake through the trap, but some people have complained that the wire in the Turbo Snake is too stiff for their traps.
  • Some people complain about the Turbo Snake’s durability, particularly the head breaking off in the drain.  I had no problem in the two sinks where I used the same Turbo Snake.

Overall, the Turbo Snake is an inexpensive, must-have tool for keeping around the house to clean out drains.  I highly recommend the Turbo Snake.  It won’t surprise me if the Turbo Snake soon becomes an ubiquitous, essential household item.

  9 Responses to “Turbo Snake Review: Does it unclog drains?”

  1. End came off in tub drain – now big bucks to fix it – thing is crap!!!

  2. I too bought the Turbo Snake at Wal-Mart. Used it one time on a bathroom sink and the end pulled off. I was luckey it didn’t come off in the drain. It was held on by the plastic coverning on the wire. I think it should be replaced by Ontel. It is poorly designed and should be taken off the market, if necessary by the Government!

  3. The first time I tried to use it the head came off in my bathtub drain. Now I will likely have the head of this thing collecting hair in my tub drain till I break down and spend a small fortune on a plumber to get the head out. Do yourself a favor, don’t buy this product. Notice that the reviewer even noted that the heads are reported to break off and he felt it was a minor a problem because it didn’t happen to him! Given the expense involved when the head breaks off, that should happen…never.

  4. We bought this because the water drained slowly in our bath tub. and WHAT A PIECE OF CRAP. Do NOT waste your money. The head came off ours in the drain also. Fortunately I was able to dislodge the head in the drain and fixed the drain with a fishtape I use for work. I also found it very hard to maneuver down the drain because the wire was not stiff enough to push.

  5. I agree with all of the comments above–Turbo Snake= CRAP! Didnt work at all. Save your $6…its not worth 6 CENT!

    • Yeah…it’s a 1 cent piece of velcro on the end that you can pull off with your hand using no force at all. The drain took it right away. DO NOT BUY. I am not kidding. If it had a head that was secure it could work….but it does not.

  6. This is an awesome product. Good job Sully! Has this blog gotten any reviews on it yet? It’s like a plumber and roto rooter specialist combined. Very nice content, thanks

  7. Instructions: Remove from packaging and place directly in garbage can. (This does not work at all. Save your money and call a plumber.)

  8. Should have read the reviews before I tried to use it. Garbage. How can anyone continue to sell this junk legally. So frustrating. Now have two pieces of velcro in my drain as I thought I was using it wrong and tried to use the second one more carefully.

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